Personal Finance

Personal Finance

Gareth Shaw: You can no longer bank on your branch

Last week, I spent a glorious day in a market town in the south west of England making a TV show about the impact of bank branch closures on rural communities. It – fortunately or unfortunately, depending on the way you look at it – coincided with the RBS Group’s announcement to shut 162 more of its branches in 2018.

Opinion 6
If you wear a uniform you could be entitled to reclaim hundreds of pounds in tax ' and that means money in the bank. Picture: Getty

Martin Lewis: Are you missing out in the reclaim bonanza?

Refund, refund, refund, (refund, refund). No I’m not stuck on repeat, I’m trying to hammer home that people are owed hundreds of millions of pounds that they’re just not claiming – most of which can be done with just a quick click or phone call. Here’s what you need to do…

Opinion
Bank of England governor Mark Carney may raise the rate but most banks and other providers are unikely to pass on full benefits to savers while raising costs for borrowers. Picture: PA

Gareth Shaw: Base behaviour by banks on rate rise

In around two weeks’ time, the Monetary Policy Committee will make a decision as to whether or not it will increase the base rate. This has been trailed for months now, with people widely expecting the rate to rise as the economy shows a bit of mettle and inflation remains stubbornly above the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target.

Opinion 1
The energy providers have taken the opportunity when we're thinking about better weather to hike their prices for gas and electricity, so now would be a good time to switch. Picture: Getty

Martin Lewis: Compare before paying Big 6 prices

Spring has sprung. The weather’s warming up, and the last thing on anyone’s mind are energy bills. That means the energy firms have got you just where they want you – it’s the perfect opportunity for them to pump up prices, and they’re doing just that.

Opinion 1

Scottish Power to hike energy prices for 1 million customers

Almost one million Scottish Power customers will see their gas and electricity bill rise by 5.5 per cent.

Personal Finance 9
Edinburgh Council is responsible for running a number of estates.

Controversy as estates worth £2.5m being run by Edinburgh council

Nearly 400 people have their money managed by Edinburgh city council after being deemed unfit to look after their own affairs.

Personal Finance 3
Fewer than a third of people believe they are saving enough towards their pension

James Walker: Take a leap into the great unknown of pensions

When you’re younger, it’s hard to imagine what will happen when you become old. It seems like such a long time away. But when the realisation creeps up on you that time is not on your side, it can be pretty scary.

Personal Finance
Your pension pot should be at least ten times your annual salary. Picture: PA

How five-a-day rule could help grow the pension you deserve

April’s pay packets will be looking a bit lighter for some, as new rules come into force which mean more cash is being funnelled into workplace pensions.

Personal Finance 1
The new scam sees victims targetted from a loved one's number. Picture: iStock

Scam alert after man receives call from wife’s number about horrible car accident

Police are issuing a warning about a sophisticated new phone scam in which the victim is targeted with a phone call from a loved one’s phone number.

Personal Finance
It may be wise to revisit your Facebook settings. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

James Walker: Hasta la vista to data ends in nightmare

Children of the 80s rejoice – there’s a new Terminator film on the horizon! Even more fabulously everyone’s favourite ass-kicking icon Linda Hamilton is back too. And in news that will please all sci-fi fans, James Cameron is on board and he’s ignoring all the rubbish sequels and picking up after the second one finished (awesome news).

Personal Finance
Make sure that your employer puts the maximum into your pension by raising the amount you save from your salary ' and it will pay off for your retirement in the long run. Picture: PA

Pay rise and pay cut? How does that work?

Congratulations and commiserations. If you’re an employee aged 22 or more, earning over £10,000 a year, you’ve likely just had a hidden pay rise and a hidden pay cut at the same time.

Opinion
Getting the right advice for you and your personal circumstances is essential  when deciding on retirement plans, particularly now with new pension freedoms allowing greater flexibility with your hard-earned cash

Barry Davidson: Make sure your pension decisions are on the money with the right advice

There’s always a good reason to buy chocolate. Confectioners have hijacked our celebratory moments throughout the year and seamlessly market their wares linked to the annual cycle of special days and ­holidays.

Opinion 1
About one in ten Scots with side business make their extra cash through arts and crafts, such as making pottery. Picture: Sean Bell

Scots ‘side businesses’ generate £1.7bn a year

More than 500,000 people living in Scotland have started a side business, generating a collective £1.7 billion a year out of more than £33bn UK-wide, according to new research.

Personal Finance
The deals currently on offer aren't anything to write home about, but a cash Isas could still be a useful way to grow your savings

Gareth Shaw: The cash Isa is not quite pointless yet

If you hadn’t noticed, we’re in the thick of Isa season. My inbox is awash with press releases on the latest stocks and shares Isa investment opportunities, the markets that are looking hot in 2018 and the rest of the fervour from investment companies trying to get a hand on your savings.

Opinion
You are only eligible to start repaying your student loan in the April after graduation

Martin Lewis: Graduate to claiming for overpaid loans

This is a clarion call to everyone who’s been to university in the last 20 years or so. Hundreds of thousands of you have overpaid your student loans and with one quick phone call could be entitled to hundreds or thousands of pounds back.

Opinion 1
You dont need to deposit the full ISA allowance to open an ISA. You can still reap the benefits with a smaller amount of money.

ISAs: It’s Time To Bust The Myths

Make the most of your money by learning the truth behind these five common ISA misconceptions

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You shouldn't feel shy about complaining

James Walker: Be less British to make all the difference

Since I started writing this column, I’ve been blown away by some of the things you’ve contacted me to tell me about. So today I wanted to say a huge thank you to you all.

Personal Finance
Start saving for your baby's pension and they'll be laughing... eventually, anyway

Gareth Shaw: Got a baby? Get them a pension!

How much do you really need to live comfortably in retirement? It’s something we tend to spend a lot of time helping people figure out here at Which? – be it through the research we publish in our magazines and on our website; in the campaigning we do on behalf of all consumers; and through our Money Helpline, where we speak to thousands of people about their financial issues every month.

Opinion
It's important to consider the financial impact on your children if you died. Picture: Getty

Martin Lewis: A matter of life insurance and death

All parents want to see their children grow up and flourish. The thought of not being there, and the impact that would have on them, is almost too unpleasant to bear.

Opinion
George Osborne sold the Lifetime Isa as a shiny alternative to a pension when he unveiled the details in his 2016 Budget ' but the reality has proved somewhat different. Picture: Getty

Gareth Shaw: Is the Lifetime Isa dead in the water?

In his final Budget as Chancellor in 2016 – before he reinvented his career as a crusading newspaper editor – George Osborne announced, with his usual theatrical pomp, that the Government was creating a new savings account – the Lifetime Isa – to empower the under-40s who, he said, “haven’t had… a good deal from the pension system.”

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